Smoke-free’s the way to be at Montgomery College
Montgomery College, a Maryland community college, has banned all tobacco on campus, meaning students will have to shlep off campus before lighting up or chewing (or doing whatever they do to get to that nicotine fix). The college is temporarily hiring “healthy campus advocates” to roam around and lay down the law. Hypothetically, students could be kicked out and employees could be fired for repeatedly breaking the rule.
The policy’s a little invasive for my tastes. Chewing tobacco is clearly a personal, not public, risk. Montgomery had already banned smoking within 25 feet of buildings, so it’s not as though non-smokers’ virgin lungs were being attacked as they innocently exited buildings (as is the case at Georgetown, some might argue). It seems like the risks of second-hand smoke were pretty negligible.
But the march towards a smoke-free existence is relentless. One GW professor quoted in the Post article predicted that within five years all campuses will be smoke-free. Seeing as Georgetown only got around to banning smoking in dorms in 2004, that seems overly optimistic to me. Regardless, this trend, coupled with the recent doubling of cigarette taxes up to $2 a pack in both the District and Maryland, means tough times for DC nicotine addicts are about to get a lot tougher.